Press Circle: PlayStation News Roundup (1/7/15)

Posted January 7, 2015 by Eric Gerson in Video Games

Happy new year and welcome to Press Circle, your weekly dose of PlayStation news, courtesy of me, Eric Gerson, We The Nerdy’s self-proclaimed PlayStation Professor!

First, a little introduction. This is a new endeavor for me AND for the site. While reviews and editorial are invaluable content, I also think there is a place on this site for more news coverage, so every week, you can find me here, doing my best to summarize the past week’s biggest PlayStation headlines. I of course can’t hit on everything, but if it catches my eye, I will at least touch upon it here. Bear in mind that these posts will also be peppered with my own unique Gersonal insights, so I hope you don’t mind a little editorial in your news.

Before I dive in, however, I must give a shout-out to my PlayStation email blast brothers. For the past few months, I’d been sending semi-daily newsletters to a growing group of my PSN friends, and that is what sparked the idea for this column. So in some way, Press Circle wouldn’t exist without them. Thanks guys!

And now, for the news that matters to yous.

  • Sony announces payback from Christmas PSN issues, includes 10% off purchase: I know many of you must have been frustrated by the DDoS attack that took down both the PSN and Xbox Live services around Christmas a few weeks ago. Well, apparently, Sony feels your pain, and has announced some reparations. First, since the PSN was down for five days, anyone who was a PlayStation Plus subscriber during the outage will be getting five extra days added to their subscription. Probably not a huge or noticeable boon, but fair. More importantly, however, they will also be providing ALL PSN members with 10% off of a full shopping cart balance of one purchase on the PS Store. The details about this deal haven’t been fully fleshed out yet–not clear whether it will be a coupon code or if there will be restrictions on what you can buy–but the fact that it isn’t limited to just one item is pretty important. If there are a handful of purchases on your radar, or a few games you want to preorder, this is a handy way of getting an extra 10% off on all of them. My thoughts? Yes, this isn’t the same as getting a handful of free games, like we did after the huge PSN outtage during the PS3 days. But come on people, it was only down for five days this time. Let’s not be greedy.
  • Free PlayStation Plus game for January include inFAMOUS DLC, indie puzzle gem The Swapper: Sony has announced the full lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers for the month of January, which are set to go live on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015. They are as follows: inFAMOUS: First Light (PS4); The Swapper (PS4|PS3|PS Vita); Prototype 2 (PS3); DuckTales Remastered (PS3); Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (PS Vita|PS3); Whoa Dave! (PS Vita|PS4). You can find full details on all titles on the PlayStation Blog website, but for my money (or lack thereof, since they’re free), this is one of the better months in recent memory. The shining star in my mind is The Swapper, a indie game that started out on PC. The pitch is simple: Super Metroid meets Portal. Beautiful, haunting, atmospheric sidescrolling adventure through a derelict space station, but with an emphasis on puzzle solving, not combat. The puzzles are very unique and challenging, revolving around your ability to create clones of yourself and “swap” between them. Long story short, PLAY THIS GAME. It’s free.
  • Sony announces PlayStation Now subscription model, 7-day free trial: After months of an open beta and a somewhat controversial pricing structure, Sony has heard the feedback, and has announced a subscription option, in addition to the standing “a la carte” model, for their multi-platform game streaming service PlayStation Now. As of January 13th, you will be able to get unlimited access to the 100 PS3 titles available on the service for $20 a month, or $45 for three months. My reaction? A very solid “meh.” I don’t think the price is too far off the mark (especially the three month option), but I just don’t find the library compelling yet, especially as someone who owned as PS3. Maybe the 360 converts will be more compelled–but my guess is, until the better PS3 exclusive go up (Uncharted 2God of War 3Ratchet & Clank Future, etc.), they wont be rushing to subscribe either. That said, Sony is offering a 7-day free trial, so maybe by the 20th, I will have changed my tune. I will keep you updated.
  • PlayStation 4 sales top 18.5 million units, outpacing PS3 and PS2: As announced at Sony’s CES press conference, it seems the PS4 has sold over $18.5 million units worldwide. This is a staggering number, largely because according to Joystiq, in the same time frame, the PS3 had only shipped $10.5 million, and the PS2 $10.6 million. The difference between sold and shipped is operative, as the former refers to units actually purchased by consumers, while the former means units shipped to retailers. So that difference is bigger than it initially seems, and is particularly impressive given that the PlayStation 2 was such a massive hit. And while the X1 outsold the PS4 for the first time during November of 2014 (due to some very generous price cuts and bundles), as of the end of October, the X1 had shipped $10 million units (again, shipped, not sold). So it seems the PS4 train wont be slowing down any time soon.
  • Multiplayer confirmed for Uncharted 4: Naughty Dog has confirmed that Nathan Drake’s next (last?) tale will include some form of multiplayer. I had no doubts, as both Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 featured both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, but getting confirmation has me excited. Nothing groundbreaking, but these features always kept me playing long after I completed the story mode. It is good to know me and my friends can enjoy the same cover-based action together on PS4 later this year.
  • PlanetSide 2 beta to launch on PS4 in the coming weeks: After being advertised as a launch window title for the PS4, it looks like the popular free-to-play PC MMOFPS PlanetSide 2 is finally making its way to Sony’s current-gen console. A hard date has yet to be set, but it looks like the beta will launch either next week (1/13), or the week after (1/20). With a strong 84/100 on MetaCritic and a $0 cost of entry, anyone looking to take part in massive sci-fi battles alongside hundreds of comrades would do well to give this game a look.
  • PlayStation Vue, Sony’s streaming TV service, coming sooner than expected: File this one under “wait and see”, but at CES this week, Sony announced that PlaStation Vue, a subscription-based TV service that will be available on PS3 and PS4, will launch in the first quarter of 2015. Other details about the service are scarce (including price), but we know that the networks who have signed on include major players like Fox, CBS, NBCUniversal, Discovery, and Viacom. I wont be canceling my cable subscription just yet, but an interesting option for those who have already cut the cord in favor of Netflix, HBO GO, and the like.

So there you have it! Did I miss anything? Did I mix up my facts? Let me know in the comments below! And stay tuned for the next issue of Press Circle for all of your PlayStation news needs.

About the Author

Eric Gerson

A karaoke visionary and an avid gamer, Eric has been a Nintendo fanboy since birth, and a PlayStation owner since the PS2 era. An equal-opportunities gamer, Eric believes games are either good or bad, irrespective of their genre or setting. PSN and NN ID: GerStud101.